Celebrating 2020

December 29, 2020
drewnorton's picture

The year 2020 might be remembered as one of the most chaotic and heartbreaking. People, businesses and special events, like the Iowa State Fair, all suffered. In all honesty, it was the worst year many of us have ever experienced.

However, in trying to keep a positive attitude – the Blue Ribbon Foundation did have a few things to celebrate this year.

Online Benefit Auction: When we realized we wouldn’t be able to gather at the normal Corndog Kickoff, the Blue Ribbon Foundation created the first (and hopefully last) "No Fair - I Do Care!" Benefit Auction. 

Donors rallied behind the Foundation by donating exciting auction packages that displayed talents and highlighted many businesses. Supporters embraced the new technology and did their bidding online. The auction generation $65,560 for Fairgrounds renovations. Whether you won a package or not, your participation and support made a difference. Thank you.

“Big Challenges, Bigger Vision” Fundraising Campaign: It’s easy to get overwhelmed looking at the Iowa State Fair’s To-Do List. There are constant improvements that need to be done to keep the grounds functioning. Maintaining the buildings, barns and streets within the 445 acres is a challenge.

With this unique fundraising campaign, the Blue Ribbon Foundation took time to reflect on our mission, goals and vision for the future. Donors joined us in raising more than $50,000 for needed projects to keep the Fairgrounds moving in the right direction. Thank you.

Iowa State Fair Souvenirs: When you can’t visit the Iowa State Fair, bring the Fair home to you. And that’s just what donors did! I can imagine Fair families, staying home, putting together the Iowa State Fair puzzle or playing the State Fair game. All while wearing their matching chocolate chip cookie socks and Butter Cow Stocking Hats.

Shipping thousands of packages across the country kept staff busy this summer and holiday season. We enjoyed the challenge of turning our office into a mini Amazon warehouse. All while knowing we were putting smiles on faces - the kind of smiles only the Iowa State Fair can create.

So what is the Blue Ribbon Foundation most thankful for in 2020? Hands down - our donors! 

The Foundation was flooded with support throughout the year. In addition to monetary contributions, donors reached out to share their favorite Iowa State Fair memories. With the disappointment of the cancelation, also came excitement about the future. Absence truly does make the heart grow fonder.

Soon we will be able to look back, reflect on what we learned in 2020 and be thankful for the years to come. Thank you for supporting the Blue Ribbon Foundation and believing in our mission to keep the historic Iowa State Fairgrounds a special place for today’s Fair lover and the next generation. Happy New Year!